Sports drinks have been around for more than a few decades, and they are a prominent feature in matches and training for various sports. They are what athletes who participate in sports that require endurance rely on to improve their performance. These drinks also come in handy when you are working out for a long period as they provide energy and help replace the electrolytes the body loses due to intense physical activity. But, with all the types and brands out there, choosing the best product is not always easy. However, this should not be a problem as you only need to look out for three vital features below.
Carbohydrates are what the body needs for optimal performance, and it is the preferred source of fuel when engaging in any rigorous activity. Taking them ensures that your energy levels remain high and that you can keep your workout intensity as high as you want. Carbohydrates will also come in handy when replenishing your energy levels after a workout session.
However, too much of carbohydrates is also not good for your body, especially if you are not a professional athlete. And so it is important to read the descriptions and go for a beverage with a moderate amount. A sports drink with up to six percent concentration of carbohydrates is perfect.
#2 Sodium and Potassium
Potassium and sodium are two electrolytes that a person looses most as a result of sweating. It is important to maintain the right sodium balance in the body at all times as it can affect several vital things including brain function. Sodium also helps in determining the amount of fluid that the body consumes and also the proportion of it that will remain in the body for proper hydration. Potassium, on the other hand, is useful for ensuring that your muscles do not cramp during intense workouts. So, any sports drink that you choose should contain some amount of these two essential electrolytes.
#3 Sugar Content
Some sports drinks will promise to give you enough electrolytes, vitamins and other good nutrients, but this does not always make them good for your health. Some contain a lot of refined sugar because manufacturers want to make them tasty. But, a drink with much sugar will cause you more harm than benefits. Sports drinks with sugar will fill you up with some ‘empty’ calories. It is necessary to read the ingredients label before you buy a sports drink so as to make sure that it has as little sugar as possible. Best sports drinks don’t contain refined sugar at all.
Sports drinks are helpful for keeping your energy levels high when playing sports or exercising. However, it is important to know that research shows that they do not usually provide additional benefits over water for workouts or activity that lasts for less than an hour. So if you don’t engage in sports professionally and your workouts don’t last longer than 60 minutes, you may want to take just plain water that is free and can be as beneficial for you as a sport drink.